Communist negotiators have no control of the NPA. So what for the peace talks?



PRESIDENT Duterte announced in the past two days the virtual end of his peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (masked as the National Democratic Front), mainly because the communists’ armed groups have continued to attack government forces, and he cannot allow the Republic’s soldiers and officers to be killed with impunity.

Duterte even actually played down a recent attack by the communists which demonstrate their thinking, that they can do whatever they like in the land, even while their negotiators enjoy European tourist sites in Oslo and Rome, when they take a break from their “grueling” talks.

Strangely unreported by mainstream media, to the credit of Henry Sy’s PR experts, but reported only by several tabloids and, very briefly in just several seconds, by two TV stations, the communist New People’s Army, raided January 29 the security headquarters of the tycoon’s posh Pico de Loro Resort in Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas, a favorite of Manila’s elite partly as it is just two hours away from Tagaytay City.

A platoon (roughly 30) of heavily armed NPA managed to enter the area and disarm the resort’s three dozen security as the rebels fooled the guards at the entrance by wearing military uniforms, and pretending to escort a comely female officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The rebels ransacked the security office building and torched the staff house. They took with them the security detachment’s 16 shotguns, four M-16 rifles, three handguns as well as several laptops, handheld radios and cell phones. The NPA commandeered a silver Toyota Hi-Ace and three Mercedes-Benz cars, which they used to even ride through the resort and flee through the back gate.

PRODUCTIVE PEACE TALKS? Left, government and communist negotiators in Rome enjoying making the ‘Duterte fist’; inset, Red Guard-dressed Ka Diego of the Melito Glor Command in Southern Luzon; right, posh Pico de Loro resort raided by the NPA January 29.

Sources said the raid was a warning to Sy and his resort to pay an extortion amount of P500,000 monthly euphemistically called “revolutionary taxes,” which the NPA two months ago had demanded but which the magnate’s executives ignored. Sy’s people, however allegedly asked the police to keep the NPA raid under wraps, since the incident would frighten and drive away potential buyers of the high-end lots and condominium units at the Pico de Loro resort.

Making a fool out of Duterte
A source claimed that the NPA raid, other than the NPA’s ambush of an Army detachment in Davao del Sur February 1 that killed a lieutenant just months after he graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, convinced Duterte that the peace talks with the NDF were useless, and that the communists were just making a fool out of him.

Duterte also claimed it was impossible for him to release the 400 “political detainees” the communists demanded. Indeed, “political” their motive may be, but it was to topple the Republic. The military would probably revolt if Duterte ordered their release: Many of these “political detainees” were NPA regulars, who had killed government soldiers in ambushes. It would also be tantamount to returning to the field the communists’ cadres corps captured over so many years.

To be fair, though, the communist negotiators, even the party’s founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison, and its recent chairman, Benito Tiamzon, actually do not have control over the local communist party organizations and the NPA, especially in the countryside.

The communists practically have become similar to the Mafia organization in the US in the 1930s, its leadership a collective of peers—mainly of regional commanders—headed by a boss they agree to recognize, who was Tiamzon for nearly a decade.

Tiamzon had relied on Sison, whose role since the 1970s has been as the communists’ writer par excellence and demagogue, to churn out documents that portrayed a unified party led by its chairman, “Armando Liwanag,” in reality merely the personification of the collective decision of the group of regional leaders.

Aggregation of organizations
Since the 1980s, the communists had been essentially an aggregation of regional organizations plus two “centers,” its “legal struggle” group that directs its party-list congressmen, and the NDF negotiators in the Netherlands who idolize Sison.

The local party leaders have reluctantly recognized the Sison group, despite his absence from the Philippines for nearly 30 years—a generation—because of the international funding from socialist groups he has been raising, his prestige as party founding chairman, and the author of the only party books published.

The strongest regional organizations had been the Manila-Rizal organization, especially when it was headed by the fiery, vociferously anti-Sison Popoy Lagman; the one in Southern Luzon built up by the late Roger Rosal; the Visayas organization that had been headed by the de facto chairman Tiamzon; and that in Mindanao headed by Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos and strengthened by veteran communists still not publicly known (which therefore I prefer not to disclose.)

Led by cadres who practically have led their entire lives in armed struggle and in the underground—who therefore have scanty knowledge of contemporary society—the regional organizations have little interest in the peace talks, as they enjoy their de facto fiefdoms in the guerrilla areas they control. However, they support such talks since their experience has been— since the Cory Aquino presidency—that the military leaves them alone, allowing them to expand and raise more funds through “revolutionary taxes” whenever there are ongoing peace talks.

The military has been averse to wiping out the NPA and all Presidents since Cory Aquino undertook “peace talks” with them. Never in fact has there been a President who has ordered the military to wipe out the insurgency—as had been done in most Southeast Asian countries. For the military, there is the negative lesson in the case of retired Gen. Jovito Palparan. He took every effort to wipe out the NPA in his area of jurisdiction in Luzon, but today suffers the ignominy of being labeled a “butcher,” thanks to the communists’ vast propaganda machine, and facing charges of human-rights abuses.

Moreover, Armed Forces generals, who are given regional commands when they are already in their 50s, prefer to “keep the peace” in their areas of jurisdiction, as fights with the NPA could get out of control and that would endanger their quiet retirement when they reach 56. There is also the fear that the communists would retaliate against them when they retire, and lose their bodyguards.

Decentralized communists
The Philippine communist organization actually had been a decentralized one, since its founding, despite Sison’s success in portraying it as being led tightly by an “Amado Guerrero,” his nom de guerre. After its establishment in 1968, it was the NPA commander Dante who had been revered as the real revolutionary leader, who was starting to develop the kind of legendary status revolutions require to inspire the masses to revolt.

When Dante and Sison were captured in 1976, the party consisted of powerful factions led by such nearly charismatic communist leaders as NPA veteran Rolly Kintanar who led the Mindanao insurgency that made even Davao City nearly a Red base, Popoy Lagman who headed the Manila-Rizal organization and commanded the dreaded Alex Boncayao urban guerrillas (and deadly assassins), and Ka Roger of the Southern Luzon regional party.

After their assassinations, their successors have maintained the quasi-autonomy of their regional organizations, and therefore do not simply follow orders from the NDF negotiators, whom they don’t even, really respect as these figures have spent more than three decades abroad moving from one European capital to another while they have suffered terribly in mosquito-infested jungles in the country.

This then is essentially the problem that has emerged every time there have been peace talks since the Cory regime.

There is no real central communist leadership to deal with. The people that various administrations have talked to for a peace settlement have not been in command of the NPA. They just do whatever they want, still fervently believing in the myth of the people’s army eventually surrounding the cities, as Mao Zedong’s army did a long time ago in a land far, far away.

E-mail: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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  1. The nationalist aspirations of the NDF-CPP-NPA are necessary for a colonized/imperialized/globalized Philippines and Filipinos.

    Let the organization thresh out their differences. Many have gone legal and injected nationalist backbone into the compromized thinking of those in the government.

    As long as EDCA VFA PPP, Chinese kongsies, Chinese EEZ grabbing, capitalist anti-people policies are there, let there remain armed Filipinos who are fighting the Revolution that Bonifacio and the Katipuneros started.

  2. I have not seen any ideological direction from NDF-CPP-NPA. They are all now the burden to the nation like the corrupt government officials. CPP-NPA are now like a gangster by burning businesses that can not pay revolutionary taxes; they take rice, chicken, pigs and many others from ordinary poor people. I wonder how many hundred of years we need to see peace and economic progress. The NPA should now put down their guns and return to a normal way of life if they are for peace and progress. I don’t see any reason why NPA should still be holding up their guns than being the gangster who wants to make money easy without a hard work.

  3. It’s not an accident that Sison is living in democratic Europe, at least that’s what most Europeans believe, rather than in Communist China. He is a Jesuit agent, just like Karl Marx was.

  4. It’s an ongoing war between the NPA and the military. The government appears happy whenever they decimate an NPA troop. Assuming that the NPA commandos killed the three soldiers, why the uproar? We should not treat the war as a one-sided affair where only the military could kill and subdue the opponent. Let’s face the reality. In a vicious war, both sides would kill and sustain casualties. Huwag tayong iyakin kapag namamatayan tayo at huwag tayong mag-celebrate kapag may napapatay tayo. Mga pikon lang ang may ganyang ugali.

  5. Wolfgang Struck on

    Thank you folks

    for all your replies. It appears to me that the Filipino people know very well what is good for them and what is right. Unfortunately, President Duterte who is a self-confessed communist has his own ideas. Everybody has the right to be wrong but not, please, when you are President for 100 million people most of whom go hungry. It is good that that is now debated thanks to people like Tiglao and Tatad.

    More power to you, gentlemen,

    Wolfgang Struck

  6. Because Ninoy Aquino co-authored the Communist Party? He was court marshalled and sentenced to a firing squad. When Joma sent feelers that he wanted to come home, then Pnoy said he was ready to give the returning rebel leader a a cabinet post.
    So, totoo palang Ninoy was a communist. Perpetuated by Cory and son, Noynoy. Bakit siya ginawang hero?
    Where is the Human Rights when soldiers were attacked by the NPA? Hindi ba human rights concern din iyon? When the Sy property was ransacked and robbed? Maka-comunista rin ba ang CHR, Why is the CBCP silent at these NPA-atrocities? Are they pro-communist, too? Parang magulo talaga.

    • Edwin Subijano on

      Sino ang unang sumira ng unilateral cease fire? Di ba ang militar nung nilusob nila ang NPA sa Makilala. Kung ang tingin ng militar ay kaya nilang gawin yun ng basta basta lang eh di puro sinungaling ang mga lider nila. Tsaka kung hindi ka talaga ogag hindi applicable ang human rights sa bakbakan. Pareho may baril di mabuhay ang matibay. Applicable lang ang human rights sa mga bihag at hindi sa sundaling may baril at handang pumatay.

  7. RELEASE General Jovito S. Palparan, Jr!!! The unsung hero and BUTCHER of the NPAs and communists!

    Kill ’em all – once and for all!

  8. Digong was talking to the wrong party. What we have here is a western-backed communist insurgency and therefore the right party would be found in Washington D.C. or Langley, Virginia. The Chinese already said that these local Maoists “are not our Maoists, they are somebody else’s Maoists.” We are being played for fools by those who are pretending to be our friends and benefactors.

  9. All in the government knows the solution for this NPA’s & (Abu) The problem was like you are curing a cancer, though there is cure but complicated in a body system or metabolism that will damage some areas of the body.

    In short our new Pres-DU30 will need to have final call & dare to sacrifice some life to loose, never mind either civilians or military. In fact will be facing also legal action in future (human right) but because of his goal to clean the dirty government, I believe he will sacrifice himself just for the poor Filipino. As it is dirty government, need to have a stop the manipulation from of the reds being discretely back by some high officials & elites in the country.

    Rebels will not choose any peace negotiation, because they want to rule the country.

  10. I used to be a leftist during my college days in the 80s thanks to my UP-bred communist professors and my left-leaning Catholic college for girls led by Sister Mary John. I used to support the armed struggle of Joma Sison because I was duped by their propaganda against Marcos. After seeing the light, I realized that we can never have peace talks with the communists because the truth is they want to rule the country and not go back and be part of our communities. The revolutionary tax is their lazy way of getting monthly income and I doubt they would like to be farmers or laborers again. It is the same the Muslim rebels. They want to rule Mindanao. Unless these groups prefer to assimilate instead of insisting on the propagation of communist ideals or the Sharia Law, it will be futile to have peace talks with them. They want a piece of the land or even the whole land if they can. Just look at what happened to Nur Misuari who was given a lot of financial support. It is all about the mindset and theirs are not about cooperating with the Philippine government but all about getting paid.

  11. How can we help our President? Our first sincere President in my view who really wants to institute reform in the country and yet under siege in all front.
    If indeed our government is being taken for a ride by the NPA’s action the President perhaps should consider a review of his security details. Then start changing leftist officials from his cabinet. The control of funds among these cabinet officials are so huge that it can make a difference to our National Security in this coming days.
    Yes, we did not object to their appointment but the President declaration that we cannot attain peace in this generation is enough to say that our democracy is threaten by the ideological left.

    • The leftist cabinet members doesn’t have direct control of the NPA’s in the mountains, the Jesuit priests are the one controlling them. Look at where the monasteries are located, it is were the NPA’s are freely roaming the areas.

  12. CPP-NPA just want the government to look weak and unable or unwilling. Looking from the sideline people running the country are only for looks; wishy washy in their decisions and no guts. Adding the corruptness of few will exacerbate the status quo.

  13. Bobi Yiglao maraming salamat! Bakit hindi maaari ilabas pa ang iilang mga mahahalagang datos hinggil sa kasalukuyang kalagayang political tungkol sa ‘ceasefire at peace talk?’ Kulang na kulang pa ang narrative? More pa, more pa. Tanong lang: Bakit hindi gaanong brutal ang NPA sa mga hacendero at politiko, dapat marami na ang eliminated sa mga kaaway!? Dahil kaya sa sila ay nababayaran? Halata naman talaga na wala ng impluwensya ang mga taga Utrecht? Agaw armas? Bakit hanggang ngayon agaw armas pa rin? Dapat mga armory na ang niraransack! Ba’t kaya ayaw ng mga dating presudente na mawawala ang NPA? PH get real and resolve the conflict, but suffer the social cost!

  14. Peace talks? Ho-hum. The Gov’t always comes out the villain, the communists the underdog, thus gaining sympathy among the masses. They are always welcome for the rebels both as respite from military pursuit and opportunity to freely go around to accumulate wealth, provisions, and recruits. Mr. Tiglao, salute to you for this write-up! When will our leaders wake up to this reality? They need to realize they play a critical role in forging a lasting peace for our country, don’t they?

  15. ang bintang nila noon kay pangulo ay kulay ganito ganoon siya. Ngayon natin unti-unting napapatunayan na ibinukas lang niya ang pinto para sa lahat. At ngayong nakikita ni presidente na hindi talaga “sila” sincere dahil sa mga imposibleng demands at relative incapacities ng tinatayang mga lider, marapat lang iparamdam sa kanila na ang bansa ay seryoso sa kanyang pakikipag-usap.

  16. aladin g. villacorte on

    Look closely at their happy faces. Do you honestly believe that they represent the interests of the poor, the dispossessed, the impoverished factory workers and tillers of land? Look again!

    Thankfully, many of them have reached the sunset of their life. Give it more time – these migratory birds will come to their evening roosts.

  17. The group of Jose Ma. Sison, are not ready to give up their good life, that they are enjoying in Europe, They are just using the NPA in the PH, as excuse to keep their asylum status, and supported by the European country. So this group is just fooling everybody, the NPA and the PH government.

  18. aladin g. villacorte on

    What is the Left really up to?

    Fr. Conrado Balweg, a folk hero in the Cordilleras who died at the hands of his former comrades, had given us a clue as to why any peace talk with the CPP-NDF-NPA will not prosper.  “Talking peace with the Left is like talking to a wall,” he confessed in an interview.  “Their agenda is politics, not peace.” 

    They’ve been running rings around us for the past four decades. One thing is certain: The Left will still be represented by the same old faces, with the same rhetoric. These are the absentee leaders, the armchair guerrillas who live a pampered life abroad while their comrades were being bombed and hunted down in the boondocks.

    I have often wondered why the government should still negotiate with the so-called leaders of the Left who have long turned their back on the Philippines. From the late 80s Joema enjoys his refugee status in the Netherlands, lecturing and touring the continent, and partying with the Filipino expats, while living off Dutch subsidies. Jalandoni embraced Dutch citizenship in 1985 and with wife Connie now call Holland their home. Agcaoili, one of the NPA top honchos, was reported to have adopted Spanish citizenship.

    Has anyone ever questioned their loyalty?

  19. The Great Defiant on

    I will ask the NPA to kill all the oligarchs and corrupt police and politicians…
    surely eople will be clapping in silence…

    but the problem is “they were friends”…

    so I will ask DU30 to annihilate all these stew-fed sun of a beach…

  20. DU30 has a vision of peace throughout the PH. DU30 wants to make the government inclusive of all segemnts of our society. He is willing to discuss peace. But the NPA has demanded too much and called off the cease fire. DU30 is a man who takes threats only one way. He responds with force when talks have failed.

  21. I always wonder why the government cannot wipe out this group. I remember, when Joseph Estrada, was the President, he declared an all out war against this group but then he was removed because of his corruption activities. But this time we had a president that is determined to wipe out this group. One thing I would say please help our president not to fall on there propaganda machine. We, as people who supported our president, must unit to be sure this will not happen again. I am sure the army has the capabilities to wipe this group for good. Stop this negotiations now because like in the past nothing is going to happen. It is a diversion tactic of this group.

  22. Coming from the underground, Mr.Tiglao portrayed the worst scenario of prolonged armed struggle by the communists.Now that Digong declared them terrorist I wonder what cards the leftists embedded by the Duterte government will play. The reds in the government identified by Tatad as hard core communists led by Evasco now controls Duterte’s cabinet. Poor Digong he now finds himself in a quagmire in all fronts even in his own cabinet family. The CBCP is praying for his soul, says he had lost faith on his own police and the military might topple him. The Americans knows he is no admirer but what will the street parliamentarians, the so called aboveground struggle scream at him now? Burn his effigy and shout Ibagsak! Ibagsak ang Duterte Putin regime! Quo vadis Philippines?

  23. Perhaps there is a need to recognize that many of these groups are symptoms of the country’s underlying problems. Cure the poverty, the weak economy, the poor infrastructure, the corruption and perhaps the country begins to address the real problems at hand. If any of these violent groups – whether they be communists, the ASG, the drug lords, the corrupt police, or the corrupt government wish to remain problems, they should be eliminated. Dealing or negotiating with them may not produce any beneficial results – in fact, they seem to perpetuate the problems and distract the country from the real problems at hand.

  24. Bomb the NPA using the attack jets and helicopters with night vision. I am pretty sure that the CDCP will complain and protect these extortionists and terrorists. The public will know that the church is pro communist.

  25. Watch the youtube “IN A VERY RARE VIDEO FATHER CONRADO BALWEG EXPLAINS WHY PEACE TALKS WITH CPP NPA WONT PROSPER.” The rebel priest explained that the CPP-NPA does not want peace but the ultimate goal is to take over the Philippine government.

    Fr. Balweg revealed that the NPA rebels were almost decimated during the Marcos administration but the NPA rebels number grew big during the Cory Aquino’s government.

    I remember a former soldier who quit the AFP because he was having nightmares and nervous breakdown. He was crying when he recalled his and his fellow soldiers’ frustration when they already cornered the NPA rebels but the Cory government instructed them to hold fire and go back to barracks.

    If the NPA rebels were neutralized then, probably, we wouldn’t have this NPA rebel problem anymore, just like what happened to Tamil Tiger rebels who were wiped out by the Sri Lankan government.

    • I agree and used to be a leftist who supported the armed struggle of Joma Sison in the 80s during my college years. I believed their propaganda against Marcos but now I know better and have the same thoughts that peace talks with the CPP/NPA are futile because what the want is power to control the whole Philippines just like the Muslim rebels want Mindanao to be theirs. it is a no brainer. Yes, we all want peace. Who doesn’t? However, there will always be groups of people who prefer to go against the government because they want to be in power themselves. This is one of the reasons I did not like it when Duterte said he wants to have peace talks with the communist rebels. It won’t work and I told people that. Now, I am being proved correct.